Have a Smartphone? When You Might Want to Take Advantage of Telemedicine

Find out when telehealth might be a good option and coverage by plans.

If you’re pressed for time, have a mobile device and a nonemergency issue, you may want to take advantage of telemedicine benefits – a virtual or video visit with a credentialed doctor specializing in internal medicine, family practice, or pediatrics, or a therapist.  A virtual care visit enables you to see a provider through real-time, Skype-like technology using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.  Benefits include:

  • Immediate access to doctors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

  • No need to travel from work or home

  • Secure and private two-way video chats with U.S. board-certified doctors and therapists

  • Prescriptions sent to your drug store, if needed

Telemedicine is exploding in popularity.  IHS Technology projects that 7 million patients worldwide will use telemedicine in 2018, up dramatically from 350,000 in 2013.  Consider taking advantage of telemedicine benefits if you have any of the following issues or needs: allergies, upper respiratory infection, flu, earache, skin rash, urinary tract infection, conjunctivitis, sinus infection, upset stomach and behavioral health consultations.  After your virtual visit, be sure to let your primary care provider know about the visit so he or she can be up to date on any follow up needs.

For a telehealth visit, you will need the following:

  • Computer, smartphone, or tablet

  • Microphone (if not included in the mobile device or computer)

  • Webcam (if not included in the mobile device or computer)

Be sure to enroll in your plan’s program before you need services to avoid delays.  You can do this by phone, website, or by downloading the application (app) from the App Store or Google Play.  You will be asked to enter your contact information, plan member ID, and to complete a brief medical questionnaire along with major credit card information for the office visit copay.  Once you are registered, you can talk to the next available doctor or set up an appointment at a time convenient for you.  Medicare does not cover virtual visits and medical telemedicine benefits are not currently offered to Tufts Health Plan members, but are expected to be available at the beginning of 2018.

Contact your plan for details about telehealth benefits:

Non-Emergency Medical Needs

Through Teladoc: 1.800.835.2362

Fallon Health: $15 per visit for Direct Care; $20 per visit for Select Care

Health New England: $20 per visit

Neighborhood Health Plan new benefit effective July 1, 2017: $20 per visit

Through Doctor on Demand: 1.800.997.6196

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care: $10 per visit for Independence Plan; $20 per visit for Primary Choice Plan

Through LiveHealth® Online by AmericanWell: 1.855.603.7985

UniCare State Indemnity Plan/PLUS: $15 per visit

UniCare State Indemnity Plan/Basic and Community Choice new benefit effective July 1, 2017: $15 per visit

Behavioral Health Needs

Beacon Health Options behavioral health services for Tufts Health Plan and UniCare State Indemnity Plan members include therapy coverage in all states and psychiatry coverage in 29 states.  Choose from a selection of appointment dates, times and providers.

Through AmWell App: 1.855.750.8980 (Beacon Health Options)

Tufts Health Plan: $10 per visit Navigator Plan and $15 per visit Spirit Plan

UniCare State Indemnity Plan/Basic, Community Choice and PLUS: $15 per visit


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